JD Sports Fashion has posted a 26% rise in full-year profit before tax and exceptionals of 26% to £67.4m and expects its momentum to continue.

The retailer’s sales climbed 15% to £770m in the year to January 30, when group like-for-likes increased 2.5%. Its sports fascias achieved a 2.3% like-for-like advance and the growth at fashion stores was 3.6%.

Performance in the first 10 weeks of the new year to April 10 has been “encouraging”, the retailer reported. However, although like-for-likes at the UK sports fascias rose 3%, there was a 3.5% decline at the fashion division.

JD Sports has bolstered its business over the past year by venturing overseas with the acquisition of French retailer Chausport and of rugby brand Canterbury Europe.

JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said it was the retailer’s sixth year of profitability progress. He said: “Such sustained performance, in the face of less than favourable economic conditions, reflects the strength and uniqueness of our brand and fascia offers.”

He said: “Opportunities for profit growth overseas, the roll out of our principal fashion fascia [Bank], development of our differentiated and own-brand proposition, and growth in our distribution business all reduce threats to profitability.”

Singer analyst Matthew McEachran described the performance as “excellent” and said: “JD Sports’ profits now exceed those of Booker and Mothercare, and are almost as much as those of Dunelm and HMV.”